woman hiking on the mountain midnight sun

Tromsø’s top 10 activities in the Midnight Sun

When the sun shines in the middle of the night, the play of colours is even more beautiful than you have seen on postcards. On bright summer nights during the Midnight Sun season, the locals have a broad smile as they head out fishing to catch their dinner, drink coffee or hike to mountain summits late at night.

As a guest, you must not sleep away the bright summer night either. The Arctic summer gives you extra many hours for fun activities!

These are our top 10 activities in the Midnight Sun:

1. Find a beach

In the Tromsø region, you will discover chalk-white beaches and refreshing bathing temperatures. Are you brave enough for a night swim in the Midnight Sun? It’s something you won’t regret!

The most popular beaches, like Telegrafbukta near downtown Tromsø, Grøtfjord, Sandvika in Tromvik and Sandvika at Brensholmen, have facilities such as car parks and toilets. The beaches on the islands of Sommarøy and Hillesøy, an hour’s drive west of downtown Tromsø, are renowned for their crystal-clear turquoise water and majestic mountain views.

Our best advice: Buy some delicious local food and enjoy a midnight picnic accompanied by the sound of waves and seagulls.

2. Hike in the mountain and fjord landscape

The Tromsø region is a great place to explore with your hiking boots on. If you enjoy climbing mountains, the region has a vast number of summits and peaks of various levels to choose between. They all have one thing in common: panoramic views from the top! The closest and most popular hike is up to the mountain plateau at the upper station of the Cable Car. From here, you can enjoy stunning views of the city and surrounding area. 

Check out Sollidalsaksla (800 m.a.s.l.) if you want longer hike. This hike takes about 3-5 hours up and down. When you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with unbeatable views of Tromsdalstinden, Kvaløya, Malangen and Ramfjorden.

Looking for something slightly easier? See “Top 5 easy mountain hikes near Tromsø”.

3. Catch your own dinner

This is a favourite among locals! There is something special about catching your own food while enjoying the golden rays of the Midnight Sun. If you are very lucky, the sea will be calm at night and the fish will be biting. Hella is just 30 km from downtown Tromsø and is a popular spot if you want to stand on the shore and fish in the Rystraumen tidal current. 

Many of our activity providers offer fishing trips for visitors during the day. On a guided fishing trip, you will be taken to the best places for deep-sea fishing and are virtually assured of a catch. Lean back, enjoy fresh sea air and wait for the fish to bite! 

4. Paddle in the summer night

Kayaking offers unique silence, while kayaking at night is often even more peaceful. The word magic gets a new meaning as you glide silently through the water without any engine noise. Stop at a chalk-white beach and enjoy the sight of wild and beautiful mountain peaks. If you are lucky, you will have a close-up experience of the maritime Arctic fauna such as white-tailed eagles and porpoises.

We recommend going an organised trip with an experienced guide to ensure your experience is as safe as possible. The weather can be unpredictable and fickle, and the sea is cold year-round.

5. Head out to sea! 

The Midnight Sun is beautiful from a boat. There is plenty to see when you head out to sea by boat, including small islands, secluded beaches, vibrant coastal communities and Arctic wildlife. Several of our activity providers offer fjord cruises on vessels of various sizes. Some cruises pass the distinctive island of Håja, a mythical and much-loved island which provided the inspiration for the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø.

6. Cycle in the low sun

Bring your bike, rent one here or join a multi-day organised trip on electric bikes. There are many options. You can experience a lot from your bike seat, with the wind in your face. However, if a northerly wind is blowing, it’s great to have an e-bike.

There are also wonderful areas for road cycling and mountain biking in the scenic Tromsø region. It’s important to remember that the nature is vulnerable, so always take due care.

7. Stroll through Tromsø’s colourful and historic areas

Go on a city walk! Tromsø has a compact centre ideal for exploring on foot. This is a colourful and fun city. You can stop off along the way and visit museums, galleries and attractions, such as the Arctic University Museum of Norway, the Science Centre of Northern Norway, Northern Norway Art Museum and Galleri Nord.

Several activity providers offer guided walks that enable guests to gain an insight into the secrets of the “Gateway to the Arctic”, which has a history dating back centuries. Did you know that Tromsø was frequently visited by celebrities such as Roald Amundsen, Wanny Woldstad and the polar bear king Henry Rudi? To put it simply, Tromsø is a treasure chest of fascinating stories.

8. Eat, drink and dance – day and night

Tromsø is teeming with cafés, restaurants, bars and pubs. During the day, we enjoy sitting outside and enjoying a good coffee or delicious lunch. We are spoiled for choice with a wide range of exciting local food experiences. You will discover a food culture that you didn’t know existed! 

When the evening descends on the city, the light tempts us to sit outside. The locals of Tromsø are above average when it comes to socialising, and a pint or two outside on a terrace in the eternal sun is nothing to turn your nose up at. Everything is set for you to stay up late!

9. Go to a festival! 

The Tromsø region offers a wide range of festivals and concerts throughout the summer. Festivals such as the Bukta Tromsø Open Air Festival, which attracts major Norwegian and international artists, the indigenous festival Riddu Riđđu and Midnight Sun Marathon, attract visitors from all over the world and fill the main pedestrian street, Storgata, with life. Read more about what’s happening in Tromsø.

10. Experience the famous Arctic Cathedral in the Midnight Sun

The Arctic Cathedral is the symbol of Tromsø. It’s an important landmark for the locals and visitors alike. On cloudless nights, when bathing in the Midnight Sun, this distinctive church at the end of Tromsø bridge is a beautiful sight. You can easily combine a visit to the Arctic Cathedral with a trip up the Cable Car, as the lower station of the Cable Car is only a few minutes’ walk away.

As a sustainable destination, the tourism industry in Tromsø works continually to reduce the negative impact of tourism on the environment. We encourage everyone who visits us to familiarise themselves with the “Tromsø cares” guidelines.  

Help us to take care of Tromsø so those who visit after you have an equally good experience! 

Find adventures under the Midnight Sun here

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